Overall, 2015 global asset flows were muted at $949 billion, down from $1.4 trillion in 2014, according to Morningstar’s annual Global Asset Flows Report. In 2014, the largest flows went to the U.S., but in 2015, the highest flows went to cross-border funds—those domiciled in tax havens such as Luxembourg and Ireland. These funds took in $301 billion in net new money last year, bringing their total assets to $4.8 trillion, a 6.5 percent growth rate over 2014. U.S. funds received only $263 billion in new flows last year, down from $580 billion in 2014, “a possible sign that investors are not as confident anymore about the health of the U.S. economy and are more focused on diversifying globally,” Morningstar writes. Overall, the fund researcher had a very gloomy view on the global investment industry and the U.S. specifically. “Opinions are divided as to whether the U.S. is heading into a recession (which would also significantly impact the rest of the world), or whether a few strong economic indicators are enough to maintain slow but steady growth.”
Many investors associate tax planning with financial planning, making tax season the perfect time to work with clients on both. A new study by Charles Schwab states that investors are clamoring for broader wealth and financial planning during tax season, with 46 percent approaching tax time with their total financial situation in mind and 40 percent planning to review their overall financial plan along with tax prep. Forty-seven percent of investors believe tax and financial planning are one in the same, while 44 percent say tax planning plays a major role in how they invest and manage their wealth. Even among the affluent—those with $250,000 or more in assets—half say tax planning plays a big role in informing their wealth plan. “Active engagement in the investing process can make a big difference when it comes to achieving financial goals, and tax season provides an invaluable opportunity for people to think holistically about investing and financial planning,” said Joe Vietri, senior vice president and head of Charles Schwab’s retail branch network.
Credit Suisse is selling its HedgeFocus business, which has more than 20 hedge fund access vehicles representing $1.8 billion in assets, to iCapital Network, a fintech platform that helps high-net-worth investors access alternative investments. iCapital is responsible for the ongoing administration and services of the investments following the transfer of assets, as well as marketing, administration and servicing for new investors. Eileen Duff Blalock, the head of alternative investments at Credit Suisse’s North American private banking division, said the bank has worked closely with iCapital since its launch in 2013. Nick Veronis, the co-founder and managing partner of iCapital, said his firm’s investor base of advisors, banks and family offices have been increasingly asking for an alts solution. “The acquisition of HedgeFocus fits seamlessly with that goal and places the firm and our clients squarely at the technological forefront of the alternative investments landscape.”
“Men can be very abrupt,” says Mary Kaartos, explaining why she uses a woman as her financial advisor. Kaartos, author of the book “Hope for the LAID OFF - Devotionals,” says her advisor, Shelley Nadel of Wells Fargo Advisors, provides detailed reports and updates and has a personal touch. And with women becoming increasingly involved as the money manager in couples (women control 51 percent of the nation’s personal wealth), finding someone who isn’t a type-A, speaks in plain English and “even asks about our grandkids” is key, Kaartos tells Investor's Business Daily. For financial advisors to recruit women clients, they need to provide the services women want—long-term financial plans with a more holistic view.